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May 29, 2014 | Categories /

You’ve probably read the stats, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.3% and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will achieve 27.7%, through 2016. But what does that mean for your company, and how do you determine which service would be the best fit for you?

Whether IaaS or PaaS is right for an organization depends on many factors, including budget and the availability and skill set of internal IT resources. Both eliminate upfront capital expenses for hardware, ongoing maintenance costs and the expense of office space to store the equipment. They also free up time for IT staff to focus on more strategic issues for their organization, versus infrastructure.


IaaS is cloud computing at its most basic form. As you can see from the picture above, this segment of the cloud market is forecasted to see more growth than PaaS for the near future. It offers virtual (as well as physical) machines, servers, storage options, load balancers, networks, and more, enabling organizations to outsource their hardware/infrastructure to a service provider that hosts the equipment in a secure data center, accessing it via the Internet.

PaaS focuses more on operating systems, databases, web servers, development tools, etc. PaaS service providers offer tools such as application development collaborative tools, application design, Web application management, and others over the Internet that help organizations with team members in multiple locations to more effectively collaborate on projects.

The difference between which workloads are managed by the organization and the vendor varies between IaaS and PaaS. The graphic below provides a break out of what the typical roles and responsibilities for both services look like.


Cloud computing is a cost-effective way for organizations to leverage the most advanced technology on the market. Whether you choose IaaS over PaaS depends on the specific needs of each organization. For the near future, IaaS is predicted to see more growth potential, however as the market for cloud matures and hosting providers continue to enhance the PaaS offerings, we’ll likely see more adoption of the PaaS model moving forward.

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